Google officially announces Android Wear update w/ offline music & GPS support, Sony SmartWatch 3 availability

android wear

Last month, Google announced its future plans for Android Wear, including an update with offline music support and GPS functionality. Earlier this week, an update started rolling out to select Android Wear devices, bringing the beginnings of those features, but now Google has officially announced the update in a post on the official Android blog.

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Google’s Nexus Player returns to the Play Store for pre-order (update)

Nexus Player

About as quick as Google added its Nexus Player to Google Play, the company quickly pulled its new media player from its online store due to issues with the FCC. However, over the weekend, documents for the upcoming Android TV set-top box were spotted in an FCC database and today the search giant has restored Google Play pre-orders.

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Google Play app downloads exceed Apple’s App Store by 60 percent

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A new report from App Annie revealed that application downloads from Google Play exceeded downloads from Apple’s App Store by around 60 percent compared to statistics from the same time period last year. Although the Play Store saw a fair share of growth, iOS downloads managed to earn more money during Q3 2014, with a gap of nearly 60 percent. It’s possible that these changes could be due to Google Play’s expansion into emerging markets where people typically don’t download paid apps.

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Google Play Store app updated with Material Design interface, clearer What’s New section

playstore

Google has updated its Play Store app with a more comprehensive Material Design makeover, and a What’s New section that is both clearer and easier to use.

Version 5.0.31 sees a new, flat Play Store logo, together with flatter icons in the sidebar, and the categories now use the bright colors of the Material Design palette …  Read more

Google announces that you can now pre-order movies on Google Play

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In a post on Google+ this evening, Google has announced that starting today users in the United States can now pre-oder feature films from Google Play. This means that customers can get their copy of movies before they’re released digitally or on DVD to the rest of the United States.

Pre-order movies have arrived on Google Play! Excited about an awesome big-screen blockbuster? Now you can reserve your copy of box-office hits before they’re released digitally or on DVD!

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Adobe releases Creative Cloud app for Android in preview mode

Along with a number of announcements landing today during Adobe’s MAX conference, the company has quietly released an Adobe Creative Cloud app for Android in preview mode. The app, which works with the free 2GB Creative Cloud membership in addition to paid subscriptions, allows users to manage their Creative Cloud accounts by browsing and previewing files stored in the cloud service. The app was previously available for iOS users and sports a similar design. Read more

Google offering new Chromecast buyers 2 free months of Hulu Plus

chromecast

When the Chromecast originally launched more than a year ago, early buyers were offered three free months of Netflix as a bonus. That offer quickly ran out, but various other deals have popped up since. Now, Google is giving anyone who buys a Chromecast from October 1st through the end of the year two free months of Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus currently runs $7.99, meaning that you’re getting a $16 value with your Chromecast purchase. While Hulu may not have quite the selection of Netflix, that’s still a great offer when the Chromecast only costs $35 to begin with.

The offer will be redeemable through chromecast.com/offers during the set-up process for new Hulu Plus and Chromecast users beginning October 1st. Keep an eye on 9to5toys.com for the latest Chromecast deals, as well.

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Google Play to start listing in-app purchase price ranges

Google Play Developers

Google will soon list a price-range for in-app purchases on items in Google Play. Hopefully this new policy will help reduce the number of misrepresented software lurking in the Play Store. In some cases apps, especially games are listed as free, but later reveal subscription fees and pricey in-game items that can be purchased with real world cash.

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Alleged screenshots detail Google Play’s Material Design update

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Android L is on its way and countless developers have been busy updating their applications to line up with the look and feel of Google’s Material Design language. In addition to third-party devs, the search giant has managed to tweak some of its own in-house software as well and the folks at Android Police have managed to get their hands on some early screenshots of an upcoming update for Google Play.

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Android distribution numbers updated for September, KitKat usage nears 25%

android distrib

As it does at the beginning of every month, Google this evening updated its Android distribution data to reflect a 7-day period ending on September 9th. The data shows Android 4.4 KitKat reach an all-time usage high of 24.5 percent, up from 20.6 percent last month. Jelly Bean continued its consistent decline, falling from 56.5 percent to 53.8 percent.

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